Sex and the Ivy


Filed under: Uncategorized — Elle November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am

LENA CHEN is a Boston-based freelance writer and the author of the blog Sex and the Ivy. Currently completing a sociology degree at Harvard University, she writes about sex, dating, lifestyle, and food for a variety of online and print publications, including The Boston Globe Magazine, Hustler, Beauty Launchpad, CollegeHumor, and luxury e-zine Juli B. This fall, she pens a regular column in Fifteen Minutes, The Harvard Crimson’s weekend magazine, blogs for Sex Really, a project of the National Campaign To Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy, and co-authors an educational series about sex products in The Harvard Voice with MIT sex columnist Christine Yu.

In August 2006, she started writing Sex and the Ivy as a college sophomore. Her first-person accounts of sexual experiences, alienation, and the true state of undergraduate life at the world’s premier academic institution spurred campus discussion, prompted media attention, and garnered a loyal following. Quickly becoming a controversial figure, she has been criticized by some as “morally reprehensible” and praised by others for encouraging frank sexual dialogue. With a daily readership of 2,000, Lena has been featured in local and national media outlets, including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, and Salon.

Lena currently manages online editorial content for a college admissions non-profit (and previously served as founding editor of College OTR, a news and entertainment blog network). She has written sex and relationship columns for CollegeCandy, covered the Boston dining scene as a Grub Street party reporter, and shared culinary adventures on Citysearch’s 3 Buck Bites and Sugar Bomber. Her new blog, The Chicktionary, is a chronicle of her daily life and likes, as well as all things feminist, queer, or otherwise radical. She lives in the Back Bay.

Her full portfolio is available on

47 Responses to “Bio”

  1. mr skin Says:

    I don’t think Meg will ever top her performance in When Harry Met Sally.

  2. Sam Jackson Says:

    The Affirmative Action / Asian American connection–are you investigating it from a Jerome Karabel type perspective, looking for evidence of Jian Li type stuff? Sounds very interesting!

  3. tong g Says:

    wow, great stuff. who would have thunk it! thanks for your blog, sexy stuff

  4. the Yearning Heart Says:

    I wish I were that “fugly”. You’re cute as a freaking button, and a jewel.

  5. Dave Says:

    Wow, I’ve been reading your site for the past few weeks and I’m hooked. I can’t tell if it’s just your hotness, the great writing and personal insight, that mirrors some of my own tendencies, or a mixture of both. I can’t wait to read more, ignore the “haters” and keep doing a great job. You rock. Holla!

  6. Jenna Says:

    You’re an amazing writer. If Cosmo rejects you, tell them to eat it. I am totally addicted to your blog and I can relate to a lot of this stuff– keep up the fabulous work, you’ve got a fan at Cornell :)

  7. Emily Says:

    I think you are fabulous. You are welcome to come and titilate the boys of the University of San Francisco anytime you would like….

  8. Eric Says:

    You are still going to need one of those “soulless” i-bankers around for your other social and material pleasures - I know some, I’ll hook you up.

  9. Lauren Says:


    You are an awesome writer, and very pretty as well. Feel free to come to Emery anytime. ~.’


  10. Ryan Says:

    You’re a great writer, and you manage to infuse humor and a dose of reality into everything you write, which is not an easy task. If you’re looking for any f-buddies up here at Dartmouth, I’m your man.

  11. Lisa Says:

    Oh my God, I think I love you!!! I would show my boyfriend who goes to MIT your blog, but I think he’ll be over to Harvard in a flash!

  12. Rob Says:

    Your blog is very interesting. I saw you on the news and thats how I came to see your website. You are very talented and can write your ass off. Oh….and you are a very fine looking woman. Keep up the great stuff. Life is good. You are awesome.

  13. Sarianna Says:

    Rock on… I hate when people say that, but really- keep writing, dreaming, and f*cking because it makes for a great read. :)

  14. Ed Says:

    Hi! I heard you on the Sirius Playboy channel and that’s why I visited. I thought you were intelligent, well spoken and open-minded. Life is short so live it like you woun’t be here long.

  15. Darcy Says:

    I was recommended by one of your school mates as something I’d enjoy. “Surprisingly well-written” was what she said.

    I’m not sure why she was surprised.

    I do find it to be quite fun

  16. eMcee Says:

    My blog (and life) are painfully less exciting that yours. So I love this stuff! And I am proud to have known you when you were a cute 16 yr. old in your first internship in Hollywood.

    Both then, and now, you rock(ed)!


  17. sam Says:

    Lena, you are an embarassment to your family and to all Asians. As it is, Asian women have a very difficult and hard stereotype they need to overcome if they want to be a successful career woman who are taken seriously. shame on you.

    I can understand why you would be so easy with your body. if i had that face, i would give it away to anyone who would take it simply because it provides me with a false sense of acceptance and respect.

    Please understand that just because a guy will have sex with you does not mean they will take you home to Mother.

    By the way, love the eye lift.

  18. Calven Says:

    :) read you blog .

    from TAIWAN

  19. Renee Says:

    Um. Right, sam. You know,she said she wants to be a single mother, so she doesn’t need to take anyone home to “Mother.”

    And frankly, you’re full of shit if you think guys wouldn’t be interested in having long term nd I certainly wouldn’t acceptrelationships with Lena, if that’s what she wants. I have lots of random sex too, but that hasn’t stopped the marriage proposals.

    Not that I’ve accepted any.

    Oh, and it might interest you to know that the stereotype is that Chinese girls don’t put out- so if anything she’s BREAKING stereotypes ^_^

  20. humanTomato Says:


  21. Liz Says:

    I linked to your site off one of my Harvard friends Facebooks … it’s interesting :) you’re a good writer as well.

  22. Anthony Says:

    2 words: you’re hot!
    Rock the world.

  23. Tamia Says:

    I happened to come upon your blog while looking at House of Procrastination while I was, well, procrastinating studying for finals! I don’t feel so bad about all my short-lived sexual experiences with guys across my campus; I finally have someone whose encounters I can relate to!
    (Not that it’s something for me to boast about.) Without your writing I would be on wasting time on facebook! Your site has now been added on my desktop favorites. I look forward to reading more! : )
    I think I’ll introduce this website to my fellow friends at Whittier College…

  24. risdhoon Says:

    you so hot

  25. will Says:


  26. Rachel Says:

    good stuff, congrats Lena!

  27. » Lena Chen, NOT a Student of Virginity: An Asian American/Asian Canadian Blog Says:

    [...] more about her from her blog, “Sex and the Ivy,“and discovered that she was “Born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles, Lena is a third-year B.A. candidate in sociology…A first generation Chinese-American…” For some reason, I was not terribly surprised [...]

  28. awesome blossom Says:

    hey, you’re awesome! having grown up with similarly cantonese parents on the west coast, I deeply appreciate that someone out there has the guts to just BE. Well done on all counts. I’ll keep an eye on this although I’m also impressed that you no longer feel chained to it. If it happens it happens, if not, I’m glad it did. (and it was an extra treat to find a blog that properly used ‘toe the line.’)

  29. Justin C. Says:

    Well, I had no idea that you write so much Lena. We should talk more often.

  30. Sex and the Ivy… « Intermittent Dragnet Says:

    [...] 25, 2008 · No Comments Now, Ms. Chen has made her blogging career, if we can call it such, from a number of factors: her status as a [...]

  31. z.Yleo77 Says:

    you???was serious damage

  32. hellocity Says:

    just so so

  33. Id Says:

    what is that one tv show?…the one with the extremely old woman..who talks about sex and answers sex questions…i just can’t remember the name.. but anyway, she reminds me of you. keep up the good work :]

  34. Elle Says:

    Dr. Ruth!

  35. Rajan Says:

    Your site was blocked under “Porn” category in school,browsed it using Proxy :P

  36. Why is this awesome? Says:

    -Speaking of elitist and abstinence, I heard there’s an abstinence club at Harvard.
    -Yea.. what it’s called?
    -The student body….
    Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

  37. Dede Says:

    I think you are a very talented writer and courageous and honest lady! I really respect that about you!

  38. Dede Says:

    Great stuff! Thanks for your insightful blogs. I have had my share of experiences. I wish I had to nerve to blog about them!

  39. Cindy Says:

    Your entertaining escapades take on a totally different take once you have a daughter at one of these fine Ive League institutions. I love reading about these things, but, as a single mom, I am way too timid to actually go out and try them.I have taken a big step to try to meet singles…I have started to post information on any dating sites out there in hopes of meeting the right person. The latest one I have posted on is a Hope it helps me get out of my shell.

  40. Reflections on The Stranger « Barely Conscious Says:

    [...] here or pick up a hard copy if you just happen to be passing through Bellingham), and bringing Lena Chen (who I generally can’t stop talking about, online or elsewhere…) to speak on campus! I [...]

  41. tony Says:

    Ms. Chen,
    As an older Asian male, I’m more perplexed as I’m getting on with the years, and, if I had a daughter much like you, I will be challenged. But that’s all good. One needs to be challenged in this brave new world so that Life doesn’t turn into another spectator sport to us old men. Bravo, young lady. Live like it’s your world, for it is…

  42. Alex Kindle Says:

    Three cheers to you, Lena! I was raised in a strict home and went to college clueless and shy. I wish I had had your blog to read back then - it would have changed my college experience and made me much more comfortable with how natural and normal sex is - and made me feel like I wasn’t the only one going through it. You’re helping a generation of young women out there.

  43. Ana Leigh Says:

    Congratulations! You are so lucky and talented.

  44. Bernie Frank Says:

    What an amazing blog! I wish that I could write like you. I think that the critics are just jealous because they don’t have the drive to go do amazing things. Keep it up. xoxoxoxxo

  45. Velma Says:

    Hey Lena,
    I’ve been reading your blog… don’t listen to the detractors. You’re cool, honest, principled, brave, beautiful, a great writer, and most importantly - fun! A lot more fun than some of these haters. I wish you great things.
    -A reader

  46. Dating Down Under Says:

    You rock Lena! Writing is not everybody’s cup of tea. You got that extra talent and you use it for best by writing such great post! Keep Writing!!!

  47. Sebastian Wolf Says:

    read about you at the german spiegel. you’ve got a great blog! thank you for doing what you do!

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